03 June 2020 | Story Rulanzen Martin | Photo Rulanzen Martin
Prof Kobus Marais, the founder of the JTSA, at the launch of his Indexicality Research Forum in 2019.

The newly launched Journal for Translation Studies in Africa (JTSA) by Prof Kobus Marais from the Department of Linguistics and Language Practice at the University of the Free State (UFS), is the result of various efforts over a period of more than a decade.

“The first Summer School for Translation Studies in Africa 2009 stands out as one of the first efforts to think about the concept of translation in Africa,” said Prof Marais. A subsequent series of summer schools also led to the formation of the Association for Translation Studies (ATSA) in Africa in 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya. 

The journal is an open-sourced, peer-reviewed publication, boasting scholarly papers, book reviews, opinion pieces and work by young scholars within translation studies. The first edition of the journal was made possible with financial support from Prof Corli Witthuhn, Vice-Rector: Research, Innovation and Internationalisation and the Directorate: Research Development at the UFS. 

First edition to focus on African translation phenomena 

The JTSA is an attempt to start scholarly debate with a focus on Africa as a developmental context in which to study translation phenomena and practices. The first edition will guest edited by Dr Carmen Delgado Luchner from the University of Geneva who is an accredited European Union interpreter. In the editorial of the first edition, Prof Marais and Dr Delgado Luchner set out the vision of the journal, namely: “to offer a high-level publication outlet to translation-studies scholars from Africa, African translation-studies scholars in the diaspora and scholars in general working on African topics in translation studies”.

“It would disseminate their work in order to advance the field of translation studies in Africa and to position Africa in relation to the rest of the world as far as translation studies are concerned.”

The editorial board of the JTSA consists of Prof Kobus Marais, the editor-in-chief, who will be assisted by three sub-editors, who each take responsibility for one of the sections. They are: Dr Francis Ajayi – Agenda (opinion pieces); Dr Felix Awung – reviews; and Dr Mwamba Chibamba – New Voices (young scholars). 

Apart from the editorial board there is an International Advisory Board consisting of various translation scholars. “This journal will be devoted to translation studies in Africa, with its wealth of languages, its innovative and creative language and translation practices and policies,” said Prof Reine Meylaerts, Vice-Rector: Research Policy at Katholieke Universitiet Leuven, who serves on the advisory board. She also praised the JTSA for its multilingualism and being an example of Open Science. 

Other scholars on the advisory board are: Prof Rita Kothari (Ashoka University in India); Prof John Milton (University of São Paulo, Brazil); Prof Jacobus Naude (UFS); Prof Maria Tymoczko (University of Massachusetts, Amherst); and Prof Rita Wilson (Monash University). 

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